Dalkey rewards the loyal shopper

by Gazette Reporter

START-UP business Value Nation, and Dalkey Business Group, recently launched Dalkey as the first Smartnet Town in Ireland, with Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore attending the event.
The initiative is based on a loyalty points model, where shoppers in Dalkey can collect points on loyalty cards or a mobile app as they shop in participating stores in the town.
It is hoped that the scheme will be rolled out to other towns around the country within the next two years.
At the launch, the Tanaiste said: “I am delighted to be here today, in the heart of my own constituency, to launch Dalkey as Ireland’s first Smartnet town.
“The idea of a town-branded loyalty scheme, using a smartphone app, is a simple one, but it is precisely the kind of initiative that we need to encourage, to help to bring Ireland forward,” he said.
Dalkey is to be the pioneering town for Smartnet and, so far, there are 20 traders in the town that have signed up, including Select Stores and award-winning Indian restaurant Jaipur, both in the main street.
There will be more than 100 traders on board around Ireland when the scheme aims to go nationwide.
Smartnet is a facility developed by new Dublin-based company Value Nation that allows merchants in a town to come together under a single brand to encourage consumers to shop locally.
The Smartnet initiative is the brainchild of Value Nation’s John Paul L’Estrange and Eamonn Dawson, who are two former managers of the One4all gift card.
Last November, they announced the creation of 50 jobs at Value Nation in Dublin 17.
The company’s ambition is to be the biggest loyalty scheme for customers in Ireland within two years.
Cllr Cormac Devlin (FF) said: “I welcome this new initiative for Dalkey. As a heritage town, it certainly blends heritage with a very progressive, modern business ethos.
“I want to pay tribute to the Dalkey Business Group and all the traders for their efforts in coming up with novel ways of attracting customers and tourists alike to the town.”
Cllr Barry Ward (FG) also welcomed the new initiative, saying: “This is a great idea and shows the sense of community in Dalkey village.
“I welcome initiatives like Smartnet that encourage local retail loyalty. I would love to see something like this rolled out in Blackrock.”
A spokesperson from Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council said: “The council is proud to collaborate with business leaders who actively promote and increase the vitality of our retail centres for the benefit of our local communities.”
Talking about the project, Nicky Logue, chairman of Dalkey Business Group, said: “When Value Nation first approached us about its platform, we believed it was a great opportunity for our members to strengthen their businesses and enjoy greater loyalty with their customers by understanding their needs and rewarding them.”
Also speaking about Smartnet, Value Nation chief executive Eamonn Dawson said: “We are proud to see a concept become a reality.
“The launching of the first SmartNetTown in Dalkey is actually the fulfilment of part of our long-term goals.
“At the same time, [it is] the beginning of a new chapter in retailing customer engagement which will be long and successful.”

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